2013 Audi R8 e-tron with 8:09.099 Nürburgring lap timeEnlarge Photo
Toyota was the first major automaker to commit to electrified vehicles
, announcing as far back as 2007 that it will have a hybrid version of each of its models by the year 2020. Next to make the promise of a full hybrid lineup, believe it or not, was Porsche
, though the sports car manufacturer never gave a firm date for when it would happen.
Now Audi has confirmed its intention to offer an ‘e-tron’ version of each of its models by 2020. In this case e-tron refers to all cars that can cover substantial distances on electric power alone.
Should Audi reach its goal, the company predicts that sales of its electrified e-tron models will reach six-figure volumes. At the moment, Audi only has various e-tron prototypes testing around the world.
Importantly, the automaker is working on numerous forms of electric drive technology, ranging from battery-powered electrics to plug-in hybrids and also extended-range vehicles.
The first production example will be the all-electric R8 e-tron
due out later this year. Next in line will be an A3 with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain coming onto the market in 2014, followed shortly after by plug-in hybrid A4 and Q7 models.
Audi is also demonstrating the benefits of its e-tron technology in motorsport, with its R18 hybrid LMP1 racers
currently dominating Le Mans and other forms of endurance racing.